Intercept Parking Lots

No matter what concept is selected for further study, the creation of intercept parking is recommended as essential. 

Visitors will continue to travel to Banff in private vehicles until a more attractive alternative, capable of moving 10,000 visitors per day, can be provided. 

Intercept lots are used where parking space is limited or vehicle use is limited or prohibited in the destination. To work, there should be an incentive to motorists to use them: for example, easily accessible transit; services like bike rentals or visitor information; clear orientation to the town and surrounding areas; free parking in the intercept lots and paid parking elsewhere; or real-time parking occupancy counts indicating lack of capacity elsewhere.

Exact locations will need to be examined in greater detail, but two potential options are The Fenlands and Elk Woods (shown below for illustrative purposes only).

Concept image of The Fenlands

Concept image of The Fenlands

Concept image of Elk Woods

Concept image of Elk Woods


The Fenlands

The Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre is already something of an intercept lot. It has 12-hour free parking, a live parking stall counter, and is a short walk to downtown Banff. Currently there are 209 parking spaces at The Fenlands, but 293 spaces could be added, for a total of 502 parking stalls.

Elk Woods

This conceptual image shows what 504 parking spaces could look like at the Elk Woods site, which is on Banff Avenue right at the east entrance to the Town of Banff. This land is not within the town boundary, and belongs to Parks Canada. The transportation study suggests – given even distribution of vehicles – that intercept lots be located at both entrances to town, serviced by transit during peak times.



  • With transit, reduce traffic volume downtown and across the bridge, especially during peak periods
  • Reduces emissions, improves air quality
  • With transit, enhances visitor experience
  • Within current transit service routes


  • No town-owned leasehold of sufficient size 


  • Capital costs of $5.5 million est. for both
  • Operating costs range from $980,000 in 2015 up to $1.5 million in 2020


What you said:

We didn’t ask specific questions about an intercept lot in the survey because it was a recommended as essential no mater which concept was selected.  However, many respondents agreed there was a great need for a large parking lot on the outskirts of town. Respondents were also against the idea of building a parking lot on land outside the Town’s boundaries because of the ecological impact on the national park. 

Next steps:

Since this survey was conducted, a private developer has come forward to create an intercept lot at the Banff Heritage Train Station. This lot will include approx. 500 parking stalls. The lot is expected to open in 2019.

Survey Results: Traffic Congestion